Protect America's Waterways

What's at risk? More than half of America’s streams

Over the past decade, polluters and irresponsible developers have used the courts to put Clean Water Act protections in legal limbo, arguing that the law doesn’t cover the smaller streams and wetlands that feed and clean America’s great waters.

Right now, nearly 60 percent of America’s streams and 20 million of acres of wetlands are vulnerable to pollution and development, putting the drinking water for 117 million Americans at risk. Polluters can dump into streams, developers can pave over wetlands to build strip malls, and the cops on the environmental beat can’t do a thing about it.

On the verge of the biggest clean water victory in decades

This fall, the Obama administration took first steps to close the Clean Water Act loopholes and protect our waters. This is big news—we’re closer than ever to victory. But Big Ag and developers will be using all their power and resources to bring this progress to a standstill. To get these critical protections over the finish line, we’ll need to show President Obama that the American public overwhelmingly supports clean water.

Our plan to defend our rivers and streams

It is clear that if polluters win, our rivers and streams lose. And we know that we can’t compete with their lobbyists dollar for dollar. But the public is with us—and if we can prove that to our elected officials, we can win. That's why we’re bringing together Americans from all walks of life to protect our waterways. From farmers to scientists, from local officials to ordinary families, we all have a stake in keeping our water clean. 

Our citizen outreach staff has been knocking on doors across the nation, educating Americans about what’s at stake. So far, we've delivered more than 100,000 public comments in support of clean water.

But if we’re going to drown out the opposition and convince President Obama and the EPA to finalize a rule and protect our waters, we can’t let the momentum falter. Right now, we need everyone who cares about America’s waterways to get involved.

Issue updates

Report | Environment America Research and Policy Center

Accidents Waiting to Happen

Clean water is essential to America’s healthand welfare. Our lakes, rivers, streams and creeks provide us with water to drink, givecharacter to our most beautiful natural places, and give us places to fish and swim. Yet, across the country, thousands of miles of waterways are threatened by at least one of five major potential sources of contamination: coal ash pits, oil pipelines and trains, fracking wastewater pits, animal waste lagoons, and toxic chemical storage facilities.

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News Release | Environment America

Environment America response to the 2019 State of the Union

In his second State of the Union address, President Donald Trump touched on a few topics, such as infrastructure, that are crucial to our environment and the future of our planet.

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News Release | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Report Urges Strong Action to Protect the Delaware River, even as Trump administration proposes to weaken Clean Water Act

Environment America Research & Policy Center and our state partners today issued our report and recommendations to address threats to Delaware River watershed water quality, based on its first-of-its-kind interactive map of the Delaware River watershed. The report, “Threats to Clean Water in the Delaware River Basin: Insights from the Interactive Online Map & Recommendations,” urges policymakers to use the full suite of tools under the Clean Water Act to protect the Delaware River watershed.  The report comes on the heels of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposal to dramatically scale back streams and wetlands under federal protection.

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Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Threats to Clean Water in the Delaware River Basin

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News Release | Environment America

Trump administration’s Federal Action Plan on lead falls short

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Federal Action Plan to Reduce Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts. John Rumpler, director of Environment America’s Clean Water for America campaign, made the following statement in response:

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